Indie rock outfit Ink to Spill introduces the music video for their self-titled single – “Ink To Spill” – a song exposing the shadowy reality of the existing assault on free speech and a free press in America.
“Ink To Spill” follows on the heels of the band’s previous single, “Where Went Josè?!” – which revealed the distressing status of minors ensnared in the labyrinth of DACA, calling attention to a random and contradictory system of policies.
Written while flying out of Chicago, where they had attended an event, “Ink To Spill’s” genesis was the result of an imminent fear that the concept of a “free press” was now tarnished and tainted by an incursion from mortal enemies.
According to the Constitution of the United States, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are two sides of the same coin. On “Ink To Spill,” the members of the band plunge into the steaming, swampy miasma of corruption and violence presently plaguing the country.
The song narrates the tale of a man whose bedrock is objectivity and ‘fierce independence,’ and how he eschews alignment with political parties. Predisposed to keeping his opinions private, when faced with what he sees taking place in the country he loves, his reluctance to speak out evaporates.
The lyrics eloquently express the man’s newfound perspective:
“A man who’s witnessed demons all day long / Can’t seem to speak out for his tongue is not his Lord / Puts pen to paper and lays the world outside your door / Because the Quill is mightier than the sword.”
The members of Ink to Spill live throughout the U.S. and include Gus Reeves on lead vocals, lead guitar, and rhythm guitar, and Ernie Adams handles drums and percussion. When performing live, they unite with Bob Palmieri on guitar, and C’Quil, who takes care of songwriting and production. In other words, Ink to Spill crafts their music via the internet and becomes a ‘band’ during live performances.
“Ink To Spill” opens on gently strumming guitars topped by rasping vocals, and then flows into a potent rhythm highlighted by a rumbling bassline and tight percussion. There’s a raw savor to the melody, rolling and surging on lightly gleaming guitars rife with portentous coloration.
Reeves’ scratchy voice, reminiscent of Bob Dylan merged with Joe Cocker, infuses the lyrics with palpable chaffing tones, as if seeking divine interdiction.
The music video hits hard, depicting images of the setting sun amid hazy black clouds, the writing of The Constitution, multiple televisions showing both Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, armed troops in city streets, Nixon and Trump boarding Air Force One, bound hands holding a pen and a microphone, Julian Assange, the Statue of Liberty wearing a gag, protesters with their mouths taped shut, Trump meeting with Saudi sheikhs, and protesters being arrested.
As the music slows and pauses, the voice of Richard Nixon enters, saying, “Also, never forget … the press is the enemy. Write that on the blackboard 100 times and never forget it,” followed by Trump saying, “I call the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are.”
The guitars re-enter, soft and evocative initially, and then ramp back up to heft resonance and dimension. Once again, the music slows, while tender, glowing harmonies glide overhead. Meanwhile, images of Trump and Nixon fill the screen, followed by police waging war against civilians on big city streets as blood trickles down the monitor.
Juxtaposed against the visceral music, the harsh visuals deliver a disturbing vista difficult to dismiss from the mind’s eye. “Ink To Spill” presents a formidable argument laden with passionate apostrophes.